tips for successfully transplanting bamboo

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by jenraider72, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. jenraider72

    jenraider72 Member

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    My husband recently brought home large and small bamboo plants from some woods. His friend said it should be easy to plant, however, ours seems to be about to give up the ghost. The only advice I could give him before he went to dig them up ,as a "successful around my house- so far, novice gardener"- was to try and get the entire root ball, and I said to get the smaller specimens. He did seem to get the root ball intact on each, and brought home a few small, but mainly large 8+ ft plants. He planted them in a row, covered with soil and watered. I don't think he over/under watered(but who can be 100% sure) they were in complete full sun, but I don't know if that matters. I did think that they may not have been firmly patted down enough, but he said that they were,so just throwing that out there... The bamboo soon looked brown and started to bend at the tops. I looked online and it sounded like sunburn. My husband then put a tarp shade in front of them as a shield. They have continued to decline. We may have made many mistakes, so really I'd like advice on how we can try again and what to do differently, and if you have thoughts in particular as to what did them in, I'd be interested to know that as well.Thanks very much.
     

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  2. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    Planting for most folks has the highest success rates when the plants are dormant.

    Bamboo is an interesting creature. Do not plant it without a thorough understanding of what you are doing and are signing up the next owners of your property to do in regards to containing it if it does establish.

    Not to be taken lightly.
     
  3. BloomBamboo

    BloomBamboo Member

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    Most species of bamboo are shooting and renewing their leaves at this time of the year. You do not want to disturb the root system during this period. Doing so is detrimental to the overall health of the bamboo. I suspect that this may be the case when the bamboo was dug up.

    Not much you can do other than to hope for the best. Providing some shade will also help as well (which you have already done).
     
  4. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Don't worry about bamboo, they are so tough. Cut everything off, just leave the rootball, soon you will find new shoots.... many of them. In the near future, you will have problem to get rid of them. The best way for growing nice bamboo, meaning not to let them grow wild..., is to grow in a big flower pot/container, 4 gallon container will do. They will grow within the limit.
    Having said so, growing something new is challenging, even plants as tough as bamboo may sometimes refuse to grow and die, but once you successfully grow it, they are sure to be tough plants. Good luck.
     
  5. jenraider72

    jenraider72 Member

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    Thank you very much. My husband will be happy to hear that. I see your point about the spreading out of the bamboo, and had mentioned that to my husband. Some sites said that bamboo gets a bad rep for "taking over" that is undeserved, but I imagine that depends on the type so this may very well begin to look like Gilligan's Island- who knows. Another person had responded to the thread saying it would basically be bad to let them grow in yard as a future homeowner may not want them. I would assume a prospective buyer would just not buy it if they didn't like the bamboo, and we plan on keeping the house in the family as it has been for years anyway, but if I were to put them in planters, an idea I like, You suggest that I cut it to the rootball, now after that should I put it in the planter or leave it in the ground until it starts to regrow and then transplant? Thanks again for taking the time to reply, and for your help.
     
  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Not knowing (from the pics) how big the rootball of each was (and from that, how much rhizome there is, and how much of it is healthy) it is impossible to say how these divisons will progress. If numerous roots were lost, the rootballs were exposed to the sun, etc. they might never recover, or languish not doing much. Certainly, the time of year and point in the bamboos development (ie. shooting) works against you in this case. Mulch them with woodchips immediately, ensure the soil doesn't dry out, wait and see. Bamboo is tough, but you can easily kill divisions on account of bad timing/technique/aftercare. When I dig during warm weather, I soak the roots, keep a misting hose on the exposed roots, avoid torquing the culms (they can separate from the rhizome), and muck it in when planting to avoid air pockets. I've been far less cautious in the past and had divisions work out anyway, but then again, I've lost a few to carelessness; bamboo is tough once established, but dividing and establishing divisions can be surprisingly fussy. It's wait and see at this point for you, I'm afraid: just don't let them dry out...flip side, don't overwater either. Much depends on the size and viability of the rhizome sections your husband divided, and whether or not they dried out in the interval.

    Might consider installing a rhizome barrier (at least on the neighbour's side), the present plastic edging in the photo is inadequate to contain it.
     
  7. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Just trim the top and leave it there since you have just planted. Even within a few days, the roots might have already been establishing to a new environment, so moving it is not a good idea. The best chance of replanting is retaining more roots and less top, the top should go and let new shoots emerge.
     

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